Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Sunday, December 11, 2016

MHBC Family Mission Trip - Clarkston, GA

Every summer our church takes a family mission trip to serve a church in another part of our country. This year we had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Clarkston International Bible Church in Clarkston, GA (outside Atlanta). Clarkston is a town that I had no idea existed until just recently. It is a refugee relocation site and they have literally thousands and thousands of people who come to live there from all over the world. CIBC is an English speaking church, but they share their facility with 7 or 8 other churches of various nationalities (e.g. Burmese, Ethiopian, and many others). We were able to spend a week there doing three main things: learning about what God is doing, encouraging the pastors and their families, and serving their community.

On our first day, we did a scavenger hunt around town where we had to find specific items from different cultural markets.

Like cockroaches ready for cooking...

We were blessed to hear stories from several different pastors who shepherd congregations of different people groups in Clarkston.

Our girls work up early each morning to have their Bible time in our meeting room.

We spent one day helping to clean out unused basement level classrooms in the church building. They are hoping to use this for the Refugee Sewing Society ministry at some point.

We also cleared out an unused section of the church grounds to be used for a community garden.

One neat opportunity we had was to go to an apartment complex where many of the refugees live and invite their children to the church for VBS the following week. Many of us had the opportunity to pray for the people and to share the gospel with them.

I was able to use the Jesus Film app to show a clip to a woman from Afghanistan who only spoke Pashtun. So cool!

On the last day, the pastor of CIBC asked our team to fill out evaluation forms. I thought I would share Caroline's :)

What did you love most about your time in Clarkston?
Going to visit in the homes.

What is one thing you learned?
That I can be a swear in the sewing excites when I grow up and speak a new language

Were the living and dining spaces adequate?

How could we improve?
Grow some plants.

How has God used this trip in your life?
We can help people learn about Jesus.

What else would be good for us to know?
You should do good good sermons about the Bible.

After a wonderful week of learning and serving, we headed back to SC. But not before spending a few hours of fun time at the Georgia Aquarium!

Cousin time!

Sarah and Dustin and the boys stopped through Camden on their way out to Arkansas to visit Stephen and Rachael. Actually, it was a good bit out of their way, but we are SO glad they came for a quick visit!

As soon as they arrived, the girls wanted to take them down to our park at the bottom of the hill. Anna Kate "fell" in the creek which resulted in everyone "falling" in the creek. 

Then they came back and had hose fights!

After a good scrubbing was had by all, they enjoyed an evening of ice cream, games, and movies!

We tried to get a good picture of all six of them. Somebody wasn't really interested in taking a normal picture.


And of course, Aunt Sarah really enjoyed her baby girl snuggles!

Thanks for coming and we can't wait to see you next time!

Sweet Summertime

Well, it's 30 degrees outside, and it feels funny to be going through summer pictures, but here we are. Anyway, in between big events throughout June and July (VBS, trip to NC, mission trip, etc.), we enjoyed plenty of laid-back summer days.

We went swimming with friends several times!

And took swimming lessons at the county rec department. Eleanor spent most of her time negotiating about whether or not she would get in the pool.

But she finally did well on the last day!

So everyone got ice cream!

Luke's parents came and celebrated his birthday with us.

And then we celebrated Father's Day the next week!

Our friends Courtney and Dillon offered to keep the girls so we could go on a date night!

Courtney sent this picture while they were keeping Eleanor!

The girls played in the backyard a LOT!

But when it was just too hot to bear, they played lots of Go Fish!

And colored :)

Side note: While Anna Kate was coloring this picture, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, did you know that when you make a mistake, it can actually be a chance to make something beautiful?"
Wise words from a six-year-old...

We always have fun participating in Chick-fil-a's annual Cow Appreciation day. This year Anna Kate went as a cowgirl with her herd of 4 cows!


We always have fun running into friends who are as crazy as we are!

The girls also spent a lot of time participating in our local library's summer reading challenge. Not difficult for girls who are always reading anyway, but fun to keep track and win prizes!

And of course, we also had fun with our local bookstore's "Where's Waldo" competition! 25 stores around our little downtown each hide a 6 inch cardboard Waldo somewhere in their store and the kids have to go around and find them all! It was hot, but we made it!

Such sweet memories with our 2-, 4-. and 6-year-olds!